Free Iranian filmmakers
Workers in Iran’s film industry have been facing growing repression in recent months. Several are detained or face imprisonment for their peaceful activities related to their work. Please join Amnesty International and other human rights groups in their campaigns to immediately and unconditionally release Mojtaba Mir Tahmasb, Mehran Zinatbakhsh and Katayoun Shahabi as they appear to be held solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression, or for their contacts with foreign media, particularly BBC.Recommended Actions
The priority government target for action is the Head of the Judiciary Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani as he oversees the trial process in Iran and has the power to order reviews of cases. Also Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Hosseini as he is responsible for ensuring that the content of films, books and other publications, and audiovisual media in Iran are in line with Islamic principles and also oversees foreign news agencies and media in Iran.
Film festival organizers are encouraged to approach well known film-makers and actors to publicly condemn the persecution of film industry workers in Iran and express solidarity. At the film festival, sections and structures may then present information for festival goers on the persecution of film workers in Iran and an action encouraging letter writing to the Iranian authorities to call for any charges solely connected to the peaceful exercise of their right to expression brought against these individuals to be dropped, and for those who are detained on account of peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression be immediately and unconditionally released.
Actions at a film festival could include:
· Garnering support from well-known film makers and actors in your country and getting them to publicly condemn the persecution of film industry workers in Iran and express solidarity with those imprisoned or at risk of arrest;
· Gathering signatures to a petition and delivering them to the Iranian embassy in your country;
· Screening Mojtaba Mir Tahmasb’s This is Not a Film;
· Contacting the producers of My Tehran For Sale, which features actress Marzieh Vafamehr, to request permission to screen this film;
· Asking a member of the Iranian film industry to address the festival or speak to festival goers.
· Create DVD “covers” representing a filmmaker or film industry worker for display at an Amnesty International table during festival
The right to freedom of expression is guaranteed by Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a state party. It includes the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.